Journalists face disrespect in the era of Trump

“Fake news” and the “dishonest media” must unite in a time of uncertainty and fear in order to secure the freedoms that America promises.

The United States prides itself on its Constitution, establishing the freedoms that Americans hold so highly.  The First Amendment promises Americans freedom of speech, religion, and also freedom of the press.  Journalists obtain the largest amount of power in the world; they obtain the power of words and the power to influence the way people see the world.  They are able to harness their power to shape the views and beliefs of all people on this planet, in different languages and across countries, journalists are able to report the stories that need to be told and inform the public on what they believe to be important.

Even though journalists and writers contain this high degree of power, they have been shamed and disrespected throughout history.”

From before being labeled as “muckrakers” in the early 1900s to various slurs in modern day, journalists have been looked down upon, no matter their talent and a need for knowledge.  Since 2015, journalists have been facing criticism from Donald Trump, but his presidency reflects the harsh reality of life under the new administration and the lack of appreciation for the beauty of words.  On January 21st, Trump delivered a speech at the CIA headquarters and declared, “I have a running war with the media.  They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.”  After he claimed this, the audience applauded and cheered for the hateful remarks against the journalists, proving the dislike of journalists.  

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 1229 journalist have died since 1992, being murdered, killed in crossfire, or from dangerous assignments.  Many journalists put their safety at risk in order to report the truth and the realities of the real world, but they are still disrespected and brought down by politicians and citizens worldwide.  Reporters and writers continuously put themselves in places of war, conflict, and disease in order to demonstrate to the world the information that is needed to stay aware of the tragedies, the happiness, and the interconnectedness of the world.   

In Trump’s first few weeks in office, his administration limited the connection of environmental agencies with the public by banning social media postings by EPA, Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Interior Department, which oversees the National Park Services.  By doing this, Trump has proven to the world that he is willing to limit the amount of information received by the public, demonstrating to the media that they are at risk of having their First Amendment right violated.  However, a new Twitter account called “AltUSNatParkService” emerged to tweet information about climate change and environmental issues, proving that the media will always overcome obstacles that violate their rights.             

Journalists hold the most powerful position in the world and have the power to influence the way the world views issues.  Some journalists abuse their power, but those few do not represent the people who dedicate their lives to the daunting task of spreading the facts, not “alternative facts.”  Writers, journalists, and reporters have a dark and winding road spread out ahead of them under the new administration, but will embark on that journey in order to shine light on the issues that must be heard, and give a voice to the voiceless in order to promote freedom and equality for all people of the world.